9 January 2013

Kenya: Fake Cop Charged in Court

Photo: Capital FM
Crime scene (file photo).

YESTERDAY police imposter Joshua Waiganjo was arraigned in a Naivasha court just hours after Rift Valley PPO John M'mbijiwe and two seniors officers were interdicted.

Under heavy guard Waiganjo was arraigned before Naivasha resident magistrate Electer Riany a day earlier than the court had set. The prosecution applied to prefer 10 fresh charges to replace the four original ones.

Waiganjo's lawyer Katwa Kigen applied for a copy of the new charges that include robbery with violence, impersonation, and being in possession of police uniform.

However the magistrate ruled that all applications should be made on Wednesday when the new charges will be read against the accused.

"The court had set the mention date as the 9th of January but I do not understand the move to bring him to court a day earlier," Kigen said outside the court. Kigen criticised the police for questioning the suspect without representation. He said that he would be exonerated in court.

Earlier senior officers led by CID Deputy Director Gideon Kimilu had grilled Waiganjo at the Naivasha police station for over three hours. The suspect, who was been held at Naivasha prison, was then driven to the police station where he met his father.

In Nairobi, three senior police officers were sent on leave as investigations began. Rift Valley PPO John Mbijiwe, Anti-Stock Theft Unit commandant Michael Remy Ngugi and Njoro OCPD Peter Njeru Nthiga were suspended by the National Police Service Commission.

NPSC chairman Johnston Kavuludi said the decision to interdict the trio was arrived at on Monday night after a meeting with new Inspector General David Kimayio who joined the commission after his appointment last month.

Kavuludi told journalists in Nairobi yesterday that the commission had already appointed other officers to replace the three in an acting capacity.

"This incident has exposed a serious lapse that has outraged the nation and both his Excellency the President and Right Honourable Prime Minister have expressed serious concerns regarding the matter," said Kavuludi.

Kavuludi announced that a thorough audit of the entire police force will be undertaken within 30 days. The team investigating the saga will report within 21 days.

The team will include two NPSC commissioners Major Muiu and Mary Owuor and representatives of the Inspector General of Police, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Public Service Commission and Law Society of Kenya.

Kavuludi said the audit would weed out "ghost" officers and confirm the exact number of officers, their qualifications, placements, ranks and regional and ethnic and gender compositions.

"The incident has further exposed serious systemic weaknesses in the police service and that is why we are undertaking the detailed audit," added Kavuludi

The commission replaced M'mbijiwe with Levin Mwanthi. Ngugi was replaced by his deputy Solomon Makau while Esau Okadie Ochorokodi was named to replace his boss Nthiga.

The three were among individuals named in a confidential investigation report on the Baragoi ambush where more than 40 officers were killed.

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